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Poster: guyzilla Date: May 21, 2012 12:37am
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Purple People Eater (1988) - PD?

The notice is all it needs. Forget about that one.

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Poster: billymays55 Date: May 21, 2012 12:47pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Purple People Eater (1988) - PD?

Somebody please clarify this for me then...

I'm reading some info that suggests prior to 1978 accurate registration was required to secure a copyright after publication and some says that after 1978 registration was optional.

I'm also reading that from March 1989 on registration is optional because there is no such thing as a PD film if it was released after March 1989.

So which is it after 1978 or after 1989?

If the 1989 law applies here then wouldn't a non-registration make it PD regardless of a valid notice because the film was released in December 1988.

So this may be a special case.

Help/Insight into this would be appreciated.

Thanks guys...

This post was modified by billymays55 on 2012-05-21 19:47:50

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Poster: larus Date: May 21, 2012 12:58pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Purple People Eater (1988) - PD?

Check out Moongleam's summary on this forum. It explains the different cases based on publication date and supplies links to relevant US Copyright Office circulars.
www.copyrightdata.com is also a good resource.

To make a long story short, no registration is required for Purple People Eater because it is a work published with a copyright notice between 1978 and March 1st 1989. US works published in this time frame need an initial registration only if they were published without a copyright notice, and in this case the registration must have been made within 5 years of initial publication.

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Poster: billymays55 Date: May 21, 2012 4:21pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Purple People Eater (1988) - PD?

Registration is required only to pursue statutory damages?

So that would mean if a US DVD distributor started selling this title and was taken to court by the copyright claimant they would have not a case because there was no registration in the USCO right?

Maybe Video-Cellar could be of some assistance here.



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Poster: larus Date: May 22, 2012 5:24am
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Purple People Eater (1988) - PD?

Registration is required only to pursue statutory damages?
Yes. According to US Copyright Office Circular 1, "only an
award of actual damages and profits is available to the
copyright owner" unless "registration is made within three months after publication
of the work or prior to an infringement of the work".

So that would mean if a US DVD distributor started selling this title and was taken to court by the copyright claimant they would have not a case because there was no registration in the USCO right?

Except that the copyright claimant can file an initial registration at any time during the copyright term of the work, meaning until 2083 in the case of The Purple People Eater. If the copyright claimant became aware their work is distributed without proper authorization, they would certainly file an initial registration first (without warning the distributor) and then take the distributor to court. The situation is a ticking time bomb because the distributor can find himself liable for statutory damages from one day to the next without any advance warning from the copyright holder (unless the copyright holder feels generous enough and announces their intent to register in advance, but such niceties coming from someone who feels their rights are being violated may be unlikely).

Moreover, there is an additional wrinkle because the screenplay is registered:
Type of Work: Dramatic Work and Music; or Choreography
Registration Number / Date: PAu001109619 / 1988-06-14
Title: The Purple people eater.
Description: 111 p.
Notes: Screenplay.
Based on the song by Sheb Wooley.
Copyright Claimant: Motion Picture Corporation of America
Date of Creation: 1988
Authorship on Application: Linda Shayne & Jim Wynorski.
Previous Registration: Prev. reg. 1958, EU516733.
Basis of Claim: New Matter: "full screenplay."
Names: Wooley, Sheb
Shayne, Linda, 1956-
Wynorski, Jim, 1950-
Motion Picture Corporation of America

As the film is a derivative work from the screenplay, unauthorized distribution of the film also amounts to an unauthorized distribution of the screenplay, immediately punishable by statutory damages payable to the screenplay copyright holders (which include Motion Picture Corporation of America, the company that produced the film).

This post was modified by larus on 2012-05-22 12:24:55

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Poster: billymays55 Date: May 23, 2012 12:26am
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Purple People Eater (1988) - PD?

Thank you larus for your research and insight.

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Poster: Moongleam Date: May 21, 2012 4:49pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Purple People Eater (1988) - PD?

Video-Cellar said that for a film released before 1964, the owner could wait up to 28 years before registering. One has to assume that the owner of this film can register whenever he wants to go after a copyright-violator.

Here are some films that are actually p.d. that someone could upload to the archive:

Born to Be Wild 1938
Yukon Flight 1940
Costello Case 1930
See My Lawyer 1945 (Olsen and Johnson)

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Poster: Moongleam Date: May 21, 2012 4:28pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Purple People Eater (1988) - PD?

It's obvious that if this were p.d., then companies like Alpha Video would be selling it.


According to Video-Cellar:

These are the only requirements for copyright protection of a US work
in the USA I know. My sources, as always, are years of studying
copyright legislation, copyright office documents, scholarly legal
articles and working with PD material. These are the requirements I
use to judge whether a US film is PD.

Before 1950:
Correct Notice
Timely registration (within 3 months of publication)
Timely renewal (within the 27th-28th anniversary year window*)
copyright could be forfeited if published without correct notice or
not timely registered and renewed

1950 (this is the transitional year for the effects of the 1976 act to come in):
Correct Notice
Timely registration (within 3 months of publication)
OR Late Term Registration (at any time during the 28 year term)
Timely renewal (within the 27th-28th anniversary year window* or the
28th calandar year window*)
copyright could be forfeited if published without correct notice or
not timely renewed

1950-1963
Correct Notice
Registration (at any time during the first 28 year term)
Timely renewal (within the 28th calandar year window*)
copyright could be forfeited if published without correct notice or
not timely renewed

1964-1977
Correct Notice
copyright could be forfeited if published without correct notice.
Registration is only required for evidentiary purposes in pursuing
damages actions against infringers

1978-1989
Notice
copyright could be forfeited if published without notice provided
steps were not taken to rectify the ommission within 5 years from
publication (this could include including notices in later editions or
registration.). If a notice was included registration is only required
for evidentiary purposes in pursuing damages actions against
infringers

1989-present:
Work is created and or published
work is covered by copyright unless dedicated to the public domain or
released through an alternative licence.

*based on the year-in-notice.

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Poster: billymays55 Date: May 21, 2012 5:47pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Purple People Eater (1988) - PD?

Whether Alpha Video has released it or not means nothing. On that note Alpha has got to be one of the worst public domain video companies around. There quality is outrageously bad and any hardcore DVD collectors out there know to stay clear of them. Alpha appeals to the people who are perfectly happy with a horrible video and garbled/hissy audio. (99% of there stuff is sourced from other PD companies crappy masters). The same people who think they got the movie for a great deal since there prices are dirt cheap and will probably only watch it once.

Alpha should put more money into there film restoration rather than there cover artwork.

They have every right to do so as the films are public domain but c'mon guys...the quality of the films are downright criminal if you ask me. :)

Anyways back to the point....

According to the requirements you just posted "Registration
is only required for evidentiary purposes in pursuing damages actions against infringers."

I do understand that it contains a valid copyright notice, so it doesn't have to registered with USCO to be protected....so here's my main point...

"required for evidentiary purposes in pursuing damages actions against infringers."

So it wouldn't hold up in court right, since there's no registration right?

But your saying the copyright claimant could come back at any time and register it with the USCO just for the purpose of suing said infringer?




This post was modified by billymays55 on 2012-05-22 00:45:43

This post was modified by billymays55 on 2012-05-22 00:46:16

This post was modified by billymays55 on 2012-05-22 00:47:33